The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Letters to the Editor

Mining Provides a Montana Way of Life


September 26, 2018

Dear Editor,

A recent opinion piece by Tom Reed of Trout Unlimited urged Montanans to support I-186.

Reed claims that I-186 is “pro-mining but anti-pollution” - explaining that only environmentally responsible mines will be able operate if the initiative passes. Sounds great, right? Not so fast.

While it may be the intention of Montana TU and other supporters of I-186 to right the wrongs of Montana’s mining past - they’re late to the party. The very mines used as justification for I-186 were the same catalysts behind the mining regulation in place today. In fact, the Billings Gazette recently sided with opponents of I-186, stating, “it’s unnecessary with the water protections already in law.”

The devil’s in the details. I-186 is poorly written and leaves key terms undefined. Lawyers and government agencies will have to determine what the new standards mean and how they will be implemented, so Montanans don’t get the final say.

If there’s anything Montanans knows a thing or two about, it’s environmental stewardship. We know how to responsibly develop our natural resources to make a decent living, while protecting the landscapes that make Montana worth visiting. As the Billings Gazette put it, “I-186 won’t fix any of the historic mining water pollution that has plagued our state. It may stop new well-regulated mines from opening.”

We cannot afford another seemingly harmless environmental policy that jeopardizes one of Montana’s heritage industries. Mining built Montana, has been shaped by hard lessons of the past, and remains essential not only for our state’s economy, but for our everyday lives!

Vote NO on I-186 to protect Montana’s way of life.

If you want to know more or check facts, visit:

Patti Scanlan

Fort Peck, Mont.


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